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Military daughters say ‘That’s My Dress’

Strutting the catwalk like a super model

Adrianna Engelstad, a student at Central Kitsap High School, just glows after selecting her designer gown at the USO ??" Operation That’s My Dress. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Adrianna Engelstad and her friend Lillian Smith-Magallanez, both students at Central Kitsap High School, attended the USO - Operation That's My Dress event. The two arrived at American Lake Conference Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord not quite sure what to expect. The high energy Fashion Show with a performance by the USO Show Troupe soon had the two feeling the excitement.

"I was really excited about this event. It is so special because it shows support for military families, not just servicemembers. I wanted to come out and look at the different hair and makeup products and all the dresses," said Lillian Smith-Magallanez.

The event treated all the girls to a full princess experience with makeup applications and swag bags filled with all kinds of hair and makeup products and jewelry. The best part was each girl had the opportunity to select a beautiful Sherry Hill designer dress. Ladies from the Miss USA Pageant were present to help the girls select a dress, and found it a moving experience to interact with the military daughters.

"It's been amazing. I love supporting military troops and their families. It is very rewarding to support the girls and let them participate in an experience they normally don't get to have," said Miss Idaho Teen USA 2019 Tess Romai.

Her predecessor Miss Teen Idaho 2018 Jacy Uhler agreed and said, "We feel very blessed to provide these services to military families who also serve."

Not all the girls attended with their mothers, quite a few were with their fathers. Alicianna Salas came with her dad, Staff Sgt. Gary Salas, 62nd Medical Brigade, 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion. "It means a lot," he said. "These kids don't realize that they play an important part in our service. It is usually the servicemember that gets recognized. It's nice to see the kids get that sense of pride by being recognized. Events like this are important because it helps with the stress when they can be involved and stay busy."

Volunteers from Delta Airlines, the USO and some soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, were among those that helped make the event a success. Mary Kay, a direct sales makeup company, was one of the sponsors. "We are all about making women feel special. The Mary Kay motto is enriching women's lives," said Becki Beach, Mary Kay Independent Sales Director. "We want to pamper these girls and make them feel special."

Well it worked. Adrianna Engelstad was initially very overwhelmed when it came time to select her dress, especially with the large number of gowns to choose from. After trying on the perfect dress, her reserve evaporated and she came out to strut the catwalk like a super model. "It was pretty cool," she said with a big smile on her face.

For more information on the USO - Northwest and upcoming events, visit:

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